Will Uruguay give political asylum to Alan García?
The former Peruvian president applied for political asylum in that country, after he was implicated in the Odebrecht investigations
Alan García, former Peruvian president, implicated in the Odebrecht scandal, requested asylum at the Uruguayan embassy, after he was denied the possibility of leaving the country for 18 months. According to reports, the former president had received alleged bribes paid by the Brazilian company for the tender of the first line of the Lima metro. It was in July of 2017 that the prosecutor Sergio Ramírez confirmed that there was a preliminary investigation, as revealed by RPP.
Leer en español: ¿Uruguay le dará asilo político a Alan García?
This same media clarifies that on February 28, 2018, Jorge Barata, an engineer and businessman, who was the right hand of Marcelo Odebrecht, confirmed that the party of the former president (Popular Revolutionary American Alliance), had received $ 200,000 dollars from the company.
Because of these reasons, the former president decided to present a letter to the Uruguayan Embassy in Peru, requesting political asylum under the premise of "political persecution." Thus, the letter states that all the accusations are false since "both Marcelo Odebrecht and his highest officials reiterated: 'Alan García never spoke of anything unlawful' and never mentioned, as in all other cases, amounts, numbers of accounts, places or conversations. All this despite the gratuitous speculations or rumors that the adversaries and the government agents spread. Therefore, there is no single declaration, denunciation or proof of illicit, mentioned by any Peruvian or Brazilian declarant".
The reason why Garcia decided to apply for asylum in that country lies in the treaty that both countries have on Political Asylum, an agreement that dates from 1954. Now, it is expected that Uruguay will evaluate whether the case presented by Garcia classifies.
Although García knew how to take advantage of this resource, the decision taken by Uruguay will be equally important for relations with Peru. To accept the asylum of the former president would affirm that in the country, commanded by Vizcarra, there is a political persecution.
Along the same lines, the Peruvian deputy minister Hugo de Zela, and in conversation with RPP, said that "the government of Peru will respect the decision taken by its similar from Uruguay on the request for political asylum requested by former President Alan García." However, the Peruvian Foreign Ministry delivered a diplomatic note to the Uruguayan embassy to confirm that there is no type of political persecution in Peru.
@CancilleriaPeru entrega Nota Diplomática al Embajador de Uruguay, Carlos Barros, sobre solicitud de asilo del ex presidente @AlanGarciaPeru— Cancillería Perú (@CancilleriaPeru) 20 de noviembre de 2018
The importance of political Asylum
For the internationalist Ana María Zapata, political asylum is a way to evade the law. It also states that people who request it usually "go to countries where they see that there are no criminal treaties (extradition, etc.)."
In addition, she reiterates that the Latin American nation should evaluate very well the costs of accepting or not a person "Uruguay, being a country that considers itself democratic, also has to weigh how its image, its interests, and its relationship with Peru may be affected "
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On the other hand, the former Uruguayan president, Pepe Mujica, said that the decision to give or not asylum would depend strictly on the decision of the legal assessments, as mentioned by El Comercio de Perú.
In addition, several parliamentarians of the Uruguay Front affirmed that there are not enough elements to grant García political asylum. Thus, Senator Juan Castillo, and in dialogue with El Comercio, affirms that "Uruguay has a long tradition, of being generous and in solidarity with the figure of asylum when required, we are talking about cases of political persecution (...) But this it does not seem to be the element in Garcia's case. "
With this in mind, we will have to see if the Uruguayan president Tabaré Vázquez decides whether or not to grant political asylum to Alan García, evaluating the implications that this decision has with Peru.
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from “¿Aceptará Uruguay la petición de asilo político de Alan García?”
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